Bemidji, MN - An exciting weekend of rally racing was had in the northern woods of Minnesota for the DFL Rally Team. The Ojibwe Forest Rally started off poorly, but ended excellently, for the Houghton, MI based team of driver Carl Seidel and ...
Bemidji, MN - An exciting weekend of rally racing was had in the northern woods of Minnesota for the DFL Rally Team. The Ojibwe Forest Rally started off poorly, but ended excellently, for the Houghton, MI based team of driver Carl Seidel and codriver Jay Martineau.
Minutes before the race started, the team discovered that the intercom system in their Production Class VW GTi was not functioning. Luckily the crew for Bob Olson and Conrad Ketelson had a spare that they were able to borrow for the weekend. Then on the transit to the first stage of racing the main power cable to the alternator came disconnected. The team pulled over and was able to repair it thanks to Dave Cizmas who was driving the Medical Sweep vehicle. From that moment on, though, the race went flawlessly, well nearly.
The Friday night stages went fairly well. It was Martineau's first time codriving, so Seidel was getting used to working with him in the car. Seidel was also getting used to the high speeds and smooth corners that this racing venue comprised of. The roads were very smooth and flowing, with a good mixture of high speeds and technical twisties. The duo had a slight mishap with a coolant temperature sensor causing the car to bog down at the start of one stage, causing them to loose a few seconds. Other than that all was going well, despite the slower than hoped for stage times, until the final stage of the night. About four miles until the end of the stage, Martineau was unable to hold his lunch, dinner, and some of breakfast, down. Despite the voracious unloading of his stomach contents, he insisted that Seidel just continue driving until the end of the stage. Seidel continued driving, with Martineau still following along in the route book the best he could. The team finished the stage and the night's event second in Production Class for the Paul Bunyan's Ride Regional Rally only 8 seconds down on Mike Merbach and Jeff Feldt, who finished first in their VW Jetta.
Saturday was a whole different story. Martineau took some motion sickness medicine and was good to go the entire day. They still had a couple of mechanical problems with the car, though. Part of the shifter for the transmission melted due to the close proximity of the exhaust pipe, so proper gear selection was sometimes an issue. Also on Stage 13 the team suffered a flat on the driver's side front about two miles before the end of the stage. Seidel decided to drive out the rest of the stage with the flat tire, and despite ruining a fender, they only lost approximately 30 seconds. They were also able to perform a quick tire change before the next stage and continue on without penalty. On the last stage of the night everything finally clicked. Martineau did all the calls perfect, and Seidel drove to the maximum of his ability. They were 21.9 seconds faster than Merbach/Feldt over the 12.29 miles and finished 1 minute 40.6 seconds ahead of Merbach/Feldt overall on Saturday's stages to take the Production Class win for the 10,000 Lakes Regional Rally. Seidel now leads the Rally America Central Region Production Class Drivers Championship by 26 points over Merbach.
The team also had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Outdoor Life Network. OLN will be broadcasting the Rally America National Championship Series starting in October. For this event they are doing a piece on rookie rally teams and collected interviews and in-car video from the DFL Rally Team. Look for the Ojibwe Forest Rally and the DFL Rally Team on OLN November 6 at 2:30PM EST and November 11 at 3:00PM EST.
DFL Rally Team would like to thank their sponsor Martineau and Morris Contracting, Inc. of Houghton, MI and ask you to tune in to their next event, the Lake Superior Pro Rally in Houghton, MI on October 21-22. And in the meantime you can check out pictures and videos of the team on their website at myweb.nmu.edu/~cseidel